The owner of a Normans Bay pub is reminding customers they are open as usual as nearly all roads to his business are blocked due to this weekend’s level crossing closures.
Dennis Brazil, who took over the pub in November, says business is down by 50 per cent after the Normans Bay crossing and Harebrand crossing were closed for signalling works.
He said, “I realise the work has to be done but the problem is they have put a road closed sign at the entrance to the road at the Pevensey roundabout so people just think we are closed.
“We have watched and seen people turn around.”
Dennis explained this had come at a crucial time for his business. He said, “When you take over a place, the first six months are really important. It takes that amount of time to get known and build up a good reputation. I am working really hard to launch this business but Network Rail really hasn’t helped that.”
Dennis explained he had spent days calling his customers to tell them they needed to approach from the Pevensey roundabout, ignore the road closed signs and drive down Sluice Lane to the pub. The road closed signs are in place because the level crossing on the way to Cooden Beach is shut and the only business down the road is The Star Inn.
Dennis says Network Rail has not been helpful in providing him with information and he says he is concerned the situation is going to worsen over the weekend when the level crossing at Pevensey Bay is also shut.
He said, “It could create gridlock in the area.”
A spokesperson from Network Rail said, “The planned work currently underway at Norman’s Bay (Havensmouth) and Pevensey crossings is part of a major investment project to upgrade signalling in East Sussex.
“Once complete, this essential upgrade will provide a better, more reliable service for passengers. Safety at the crossings will also be improved to meet the latest standards.
As part of this signalling project, we need to remodel the crossings, and close the signal boxes, at Norman’s Bay and Pevensey. To do this safely, we are required to keep the crossings, and their approach roads, closed while work is in progress. Pevensey is due to re-open on February 13 at 10pm, and Norman’s Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“We do appreciate that this may cause disruption to local businesses, and thank them for their understanding while we undertake this vital upgrade.”